In Seyfarth’s third installment in the 2023 Trade Secrets Webinar Series providing valuable insights into navigating this evolving landscape, Seyfarth attorneys covered a range of topics, including the latest technology threats, the importance of communication and training, revisiting confidentiality policies, alternative trade secret protections, and updating restrictive covenant agreements. Here are the key takeaways from the Seyfarth webinar:
- Staying Informed about Technology Threats: Employers must stay up to date with the latest technology employees can use to misappropriate sensitive data. This includes being aware of potential tools and methods that could compromise trade secrets. Equally important is keeping abreast of advancements in technology that can help detect and prevent such misappropriation. By staying informed, organizations can proactively address emerging threats to their trade secrets.
- Communication and Training for Trade Secret Protection: Regular communication and training are critical in ensuring that employees understand the significance of treating proprietary information with extreme care. The webinar emphasized the need for clear and consistent messaging about the value of trade secrets and the consequences of mishandling them. By fostering a culture of awareness, organizations can strengthen their employees’ commitment to protecting trade secrets.
- Revisiting Confidentiality Policies for Remote Work: The shift to remote work necessitates revising confidentiality policies and practices. Organizations must ensure that their policies address the unique circumstances of virtual and hybrid work environments. This includes reviewing remote access protocols, data encryption methods, and guidelines for secure information sharing. Adapting confidentiality policies to the remote work setting helps safeguard trade secrets effectively.
- Implementing Alternative Trade Secret Protections: Given the current legislative and regulatory activity surrounding non-compete agreements, organizations should explore additional trade secret protections. The webinar emphasized the importance of implementing confidentiality training, policies, and agreements. Regular audits to track trade secrets and limiting access to only those who need it for their job responsibilities were highlighted as crucial measures to mitigate risk.
- Updating Restrictive Covenant Agreements: To comply with evolving state and federal laws, organizations should review and update all restrictive covenant agreements. Ensuring that these agreements are narrowly tailored and legally compliant is essential. By keeping restrictive covenants in line with the latest legal requirements, organizations can strengthen their trade secret protections while mitigating potential legal risks.
This webinar sheds light on the critical aspects of safeguarding trade secrets in the evolving remote work landscape. By staying informed about technology threats, fostering communication and training, revisiting confidentiality policies, implementing alternative trade secret protections, and updating restrictive covenant agreements, organizations can effectively protect their valuable intellectual property. These takeaways provide a roadmap for organizations to navigate the unique challenges of managing trade secrets in a remote work environment while staying compliant with legal obligations.
You can view a recording of the webinar and all other webinars in our Trade Secrets & Non-Competes Webinar Series here.